Why Exercise?

I know not every person loves to exercise. But exercise doesn’t have to be a chore! With the right fitness program and the right motivation, exercise can become a habit that you actually look forward to doing. There are so many great reasons to workout, and many have been scientifically proven. For example, on the days you workout you are more creative, smarter, kinder, and you’ll sleep better that night.  Exercise can help you live longer, it makes you healthier, it can prevent many types of diseases, it makes you happy, and the list goes on and on.

Why don’t some people like exercise?

People who don’t like exercise are usually doing it for the wrong reasons. If your reason to workout is to lose weight, then you will get disappointed and most likely quit.  Humans love instant gratification, but losing weight is more of a long-term benefit. Some people approach exercise as a punishment for overeating or drinking too much. While other people may associate exercise with a negative experience from their childhood like getting chosen last for dodge ball or being pushed into a sport like tennis when they wanted to play ice hockey.

The first step in learning to like exercise is to do it for the right reasons. If your reason to exercise is to feel better, be smarter and more focused, be happier, sleep better, increase your energy, put a spark back into your sex life, and to have fun then you will be successful because exercise does provide these benefits.   And, guess what?  You’ll feel them right away!  There’s your instant gratification.

How can I make exercise a habit?

The best way to start making exercise a habit is to exercise at the same time every day. I love to exercise.  I can do it morning, afternoon, or evening but it is already a habit for me. Choose a time that is realistic.  Whether that is first thing in the morning before kids wake up or directly after work, it is important to find a time when you can’t be interrupted. I know things come up, but you and your health should be a priority. One of the many reasons why I like group classes or personal training session is that you are not holding your phone in your hand while working out which minimizes distractions and you get a better workout. The environment where you workout should be a place that is convenient and a place that you find enjoyable.  Likewise, you should enjoy the people that you see while exercising.

Another great way to make it a habit is to set triggers to remind you to exercise. You can set your workout clothes out the night before so that when you see them, it is a reminder that you planned on going to the club today. Another idea is to set an alarm on your phone for the time to go to the club or meet your trainer. These things will create triggers in your brain to workout and thus creating the habit.

How do I know what type of exercise to do?

Think back to when you were a kid. What types of movement did you do? Was it a sport, riding your bike, playing on the jungle gym, dance, running? I loved riding my bike as a kid; I would ride it over to my friends house, and we ride our bikes around the neighborhood for hours! Hello, exercise! But as a kid, we didn’t think of it like that. I believe that is one of the many reasons I like indoor cycling. Maybe there was a sport you loved to play as a kid; find the adult version. If you loved to dance, then try Zumba.

The key is to try various types of exercises and mix it up, so you don’t get bored. Find a workout that when you are done, you think to yourself, wow I did that! Feel empowered! Find something that you can do. Keep trying different workouts till you find the one or better yet two you like.

I teach Pilates and fitness to people of all levels and abilities. We find out what they like and set a goal. Together, we customize a program that works, challenges them, and encourages them!

Improving your physical well-being will improve your mental well-being, your relationships, and makes you feel good about yourself. Creating an exercise habit is the perfect way to achieve these benefits.

~Workout Wednesday~

debi plank

Happy Workout Wednesday!  I know this is a busy time of year, but all the more reason to workout!  Working out releases endorphins that make you feel good which is good for your mind, body, and spirit.

A great quick full-body workout is a plank!  Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and you have a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.  Keep your core tight and hold this position.  Here is a great workout series:

1 minute straight arm plank

30 seconds rest

1 minute side plank on right

30 second rest

1 minute side plank on left

30 second rest

1 minute forearm plank

~Workout Wednesday~

Criss Cross / Bicycle

Pilates is for Everyone

 

Start by lying on your back with hands behind your head, the head and upper body lifted off the mat, one leg bent in towards the chest and the other leg reaching out away from the body.  The back is in imprint or supported neutral until you can keep the back absolutely still as the legs lower.

EXHALE – rotate the torso and reach the rib cage towards the opposite knee while keeping the elbows wide and the abdominals engaged.  The lower abdomen stays still and both hips stay on the mat.  No rock and roll!

INAHLE – as you switch sides.

Keep the lower abdomen and hips still while rotating the upper body as far as possible in each direction; lower the straight leg so it is on the same level as your eyes.

Do 8-12 sets!!!

~Workout Wednesday~

LEG PULL DOWN

debi plank

 

Start in a plank position with your hands right below your shoulders and hips in line with your body (shown above).

Lift one leg towards the ceiling and pulse it twice then place it back down. Then lift the other leg pulse it twice then place it back down. Do 10 sets!

This is a great exercise that works your entire body including your core, scapular stabilizers, lumbopelvic stabilizers, and you get gluteus maximus work!

 

Check out the video here : http://youtu.be/YB0zv950YNk.

Pilates is for Everyone

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Pilates is a full body workout that is low impact which makes it great for anyone, at any age.  Pilates helps people to move better, feel better, and perform at their best.  This wonderful exercise system was developed by Joseph Pilates helps people:

  1. Build strength and tone muscles
  2. Improve balance
  3. Increase flexibility and mobility
  4. Develop core strength

Joseph Pilates created Contrology which later turned into Pilates, over 80 years ago.  Exercises are performed on a mat or a specially designed Pilates equipment including the Reformer, the Trapeze Table or Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, the Magic Circle, and Barrels.  The Pilates system includes exercises for every part of the body and applications for every kind of activity.  When Pilates was first created, it was so far ahead of its time that it did not begin to achieve popular recognition until the first few years of the 21st century.  Over 10 million people are now practicing Pilates in the United States and numbers are growing every year.

People with back injuries may also benefit from practicing Pilates as the movements performed help to strengthen the back muscles without placing any pressure on them particularly on the Reformer or Cadillac.

So why not give Pilates a try!!!

Pilates is for Everyone

 

~Workout Wednesday~

Open Leg Rocker
Open Leg Rocker

Starting Position

Sit up and balance between the sits bones and the tailbone with the knees bent, the feet off the floor and the hands on the ankles, or as close as you can get.  Open legs so the knees are pointing out and the feet are together.

INHALE: straighten one leg and balance

EXHALE: bend the knee to return to the starting position.

INHALE: straighten the other leg and balance.

EXHALE: bend the knee to return to the starting position

INHALE: straighten one leg then the other and balance with both legs open in a V position. (Image shown)

EXHALE: engage the abdominals and roll back, keeping the arms straight and the legs in a V. DO NOT roll past your shoulder blades.

INHALE: take a sip of air at the end of the roll.

EXHALE: pull the abdominals in and roll back up to the V position.  Lengthen the spine in the V without arching the back.

Do 4-8 reps.

The purpose of this exercise is to develop pelvic stability, core control, coordination and balance.  It also helps improve scapular stability.

I find this exercise challenging.  But is it good to do things that challenge us because that is how we can improve.  A great place to start or if you can’t roll, hold the pose in the above image to work on balance and core control.

~Workout Wednesday~

The Pilates Roll Over

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To start lie on your back with your hands at your sides, your legs together and your feet pointed.

Step 1: Exhale.  Engage your core and lift the legs up toward the ceiling to prepare.

Step 2: Inhale. Roll your lower back off the mat reaching your legs overhead until they are parallel to the ground.  Press your upper arms into the mat and roll up until you are balanced no higher than the top of your shoulder blades.  Do not roll up onto your neck!  (shown above)

Step 3:  Continue to inhale and open your legs shoulder width apart and flex your feet.

Step 4: Exhale. Roll down, keeping the legs shoulder width apart, engaging your core and pressing the upper arms into the mat to make the roll smooth and steady.  Keep the chest open and the back of the shoulders on the mat.  Lower the legs as far as possible without letting the back arch off the mat.

Step 5: Continue to exhale and bring your legs back together and point the feet to start again.

Do 3 reps beginning with toes pointed then do 3 reps beginning with feet flexed and shoulder width apart.

Not only is this exercise fun it also helps you develop core strength and control, increases your flexibility, teaches you how to articulate the spine, and stabilize your shoulders.

 

 

Pilates Strong – Take 1

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That’s a wrap!!!  I just completed my first full length video shoot!!! The title is Pilates Strong, there is a beginning and advanced version.  I had a great team of people that I could not have done it without them.  I know that having a good team and surrounding yourself with positive people is important, and the way everything came together the day of the shoot was proof how important having a good team is!  I feel so blessed!

Pilates Strong is a name I came up with, very similar to the popular “Boston Strong” and several other catch phrases that have been popping up.  To me Pilates Strong means being strong from the inside out.  In Pilates we focus on your core, or center, and other deep muscles to support your skeletal structure, which is one side to being Pilates Strong.  Other side is the mental/ spiritual side. In Pilates every move is done by engaging the mind to focus on the muscles you are working in a particular exercise.  Then there is breathing, which is an essential link between the mind and the body.  Put that all together you have Pilates Strong.

So the day began at 6:30am with hair and makeup at Flawless Faces in Costa Mesa.  Carina did an amazing job and was super fast.  She made everything so easy and she was very professional.  I love her salon!!

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Then I was off to the shoot.  I had two my friends in the video with me, Melanie and Jenny.  Both beautiful and talented! We all were wearing beautiful Delano Wear!  The clothes were amazing and added so much to the video!  Check them out at www.delanowear.com.

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I also had the amazing and talented Cassie there to style the shoot, help me with my lines, and assist with all the details of the workout!  I was nervous and it was great to have someone there that has done this before and knows the industry.  She is seriously the best!!

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After everything was set up, it was ACTION time! And of course I had to play with the clapper!

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The hardest part was my part speaking in the beginning!  I was nervous!  But after a few takes….I got it!!!  Then it was on to the workout!  And I was in my element, I just taught as if I was teaching a normal class!  We had a good time and we were tired at the end!  We ran through the routine several times, everyone had to get their close ups with different camera angles.

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Then we were done with the beginning video!  My workout models left because the advance video only had me in it.  The advance video is a tough workout and by the end I was tired!  But I still had to shoot my top 6 nutrition tips for the video!  For this we went outside over looking the bay in Newport.  It was a beautiful clear day.  There was a few retakes of people walking by and random loud noises…but we did it!!

I can’t wait to see the final product and share it with all of you!!  This shows my love of Pilates and I hope you love it as much as I do!!

And don’t worry…. there will be more videos in the future!!

Beach Body Bootcamp

wedding lawn BBC I was asked by the Balboa Bay Club to teach a bootcamp class for a special group that is coming in for one day only.  Having taken bootcamp classes and teach Pilates, I decided to do some research and develop a full body workout that can be done anywhere without any props!  It has short but intense cardio intervals, full body strengthening moves,  and some killer ab work. There are 10 exercises which takes 10 minutes, then repeat the series 2 more times for a total of 3 sets for a killer 30 minute workout!  Do as many reps as you can for each exercise!

1. Jump Rope – 1 minute, 30 seconds

Jump rope in place as if you were holding a jump rope.

2. Squats – 2 minutes

Do as many as your can in 2 minutes with your knees shoulder width apart, feel slightly turned out squat down keeping chest open and weight in your heels.

3. Lunges – 1 minute

Step forward with one foot and lunge forward so that knee is above your foot and you are balancing on your ball of your back foot.  Step back and switch legs.

4. Crunches with Legs Extended – 30 seconds

Lie on your back with your legs and arms pointed straight upwards.  Keep legs together and lift your head, neck and shoulders reaching your hands towards your toes.  Keep head lifted as you crunch up and down and do as many as you can for 30 seconds.

5. Twist Crunches with Legs Extended – 30 seconds

This exercise is just like the previous one, but when reaching upwards you will add a rotation.  When you reach up you will bring your hand pass the opposite knee by twisting in your torso.

6. Flutter Kicks – 1 minute

Continue lying on your back, place your hands by your side (or under lower back for support) and have your legs extended about 1 foot above your mat.  Keep your back flat on your mat as you move one leg up and the other down, like you’re swimming in a pool.

7. Lower Back Bends – 30 seconds

Lie on your stomach with legs straight, feet shoulder-width apart, and the tops of your feet touching the mat.  Your arms should be bent at the elbows, hands slightly higher than your shoulders, and palms on the mat.  Flex your butt and lower back and slowly raise your legs and arms about 6 inches off the mat, then lower and repeat.

8. Push-Ups – 30 seconds

Get in push-up position with your feet a few inches apart, your arms straight, and your hands near your shoulders.  It is ok to start with your knees on the floor until you get stronger.  Your body should form straight line from your head to heels.  Bend both arms and lower until your an inch off the ground (or as close as you can) then return to the starting position.

9. Dive-Bomber Push Ups -30 seconds

From the push up positions, widen your feet about shoulder width.  Lower your body to the floor by slowly bending your arms then press your torso upward until arms are straight and back is arched into back extension.  Reserve the move back to the starting position.

10 Jumping Jacks – 2 minutes

Yes, a classic but a good one! Stand up with your legs together and arms down by your side.  Keeping your arms and legs straight, separate your legs about 3 feet and raise your arms above your head in one jumping movement.  Then return to the starting position.

 

Make sure you consult a doctor before starting any workout routine.  I suggest a 5-10 minute warm and a 5-10 minute cool down.  Ok, now it’s your turn!  Give it a try!!

What is your core?

What is your core?

debi chair

 

We hear so much about the importance of the core muscles and having a strong core.  We know that Pilates is great for strengthening your core, but what exactly is your core? While most people think it’s simply your abdominal muscles, it is actually much more.

The core, or powerhouse, is the foundation of every exercise in Pilates and in life. Learning to use it as a dynamic center is the key to efficient, graceful, and balanced movement. The elements of the core include:

  • Transverse Abdominis (deepest abdominal layer)
  • Pelvic floor
  • Multifidius (muscle along your spine)
  • Diaphragm

 

core muscle
These four systems work together to stabilize the pelvis and lumbar spine when stress is placed on them as in lifting, bending, sitting, twisting, walking, running, or jumping. Lumbopelvic stabilization is important, because the bones of the spine are both mobile and delicate without the stabilization provided by the deep muscles that surround then.

The core stabilizes the spine through a complex series of interconnections between muscles and fascia.  The first link in the chain consists of one set of the deep muscles of the spine, the multifidi.  The second link in the chain, the transverse abdomens, acts like a corset to draw in the abdominal muscles and decrease the diameter of the waist.  When the transverses abdomens contracts, it creates tension on the lumbodorsal fascia which surrounds the multifidi.  The pressure of the casing against the multifidi also helps to create space between the vertebra which is called decompression or axial elongation.

The pelvic floor acts in conjunction with the diaphragm to create the top and bottom of the cylinder formed by the  transverse abdomens, the spine, and the spinal muscles.  The primary purpose of the pelvic floor is to hold the contents of the abdomen up against gravity and to control what comes out and when.

A great exercise for the core is a plank.  Line your hands under your shoulders and keep a straight line from your shoulders to your feet and make sure to keep your hips in line with your body.  Then hold for 60 seconds, break for 60 seconds, then repeat two times doing a total of 3 planks.

debi plank